Thursday, 26 April 2018

Well - THAT Was Unlucky... : 4,000,405 to 1




Writers have for years tried to make some sense of the Scarlet Witch’s powers (which seem to have to do with altering probablities, or altering reality or SOMEthing – it was all really vague when Stan Lee introduced her in the pages of the X-Men and even later on when he made her an Avenger). 

During Kurt Busiek’s run on the Avengers, he clarified her powers as being a result of Chaos Magick :


Well, during Avengers Disassembled, Brian Michael Bendis had Doctor Strange show up to say CHAOS MAGICK DOESN'T EXIST...!

PRINCIPIA CHAOTICA By Peter Carroll Chaos Magic for the Pandaemeon In Chaos Magic, beliefs are not seen as ends in themselves, but as tools for creating desired effects. To fully realize this is to face a terrible freedom in which Nothing is True and Everything is Permitted, which is to say that everything is possible, there are no certainties, and the consequences can be ghastly. Laughter seems to be the only defence against the realisation that one does not even have a real self. The purpose of Chaos Rituals is to create beliefs by acting as though such beliefs were true. In Chaos Rituals you Fake it till you Make it, to obtain the power that a belief can provide. Afterwards, if you have any sense, you will laugh it off, and seek the requisite beliefs for whatever you want to do next, as Chaos moves you. Thus Chaoism proclaims the Death and Rebirth of the Gods. Our subconscious creativity and parapsychological powers are more than adequate to create or destroy any god or self or demon or other "spritual" entity that we may choose to invest or disinvest belief in, at least for ourselves and sometimes others as well. The frequently awesome results attaining by creating gods by act of ritually behaving as though they exist should not lead the Chaos magician into the abyss of attributing ultimate reality to anything. That is the transcendentalist mistake,, which leads to the narrowing of the spectrum of the self. The real awesomeness lies in the range of things we can discover ourselves capable of, even if we may temporarily have to believe the effects are due to something else, in order to be able to create them. The gods are dead. Long live the gods. Magic appeals to those with a great deal of hubris and a fertile imagination coupled with a strong suspicion that both reality and human condition have a game like quality. The game is open ended, and plays itself for amusement. Players can make up their own rules to some extent, and cheat by using parapsychology if desired. A magician is one who has sold his soul for the chance of participating more fully in reality. Only when nothing is true, and the idea of a true self is abandoned, does everything become permitted. There is some accuracy in the Faust myth, but he failed to take it to its logical conclusion. It takes only the acceptance of a single belief to make someone a magician. It is the meta-belief that belief is a tool for achieving effects. This effect is often far easier to observe in others than in oneself. It is usually quite easy to see how other people, and indeed entire cultures, are both enabled and disabled by the beliefs they hold. Beliefs tend to lead to activities which tend to reconfirm belief in a circle they call virtuous rather than vicious, even if the results are not amusing. The first stage of seeing through the game can be a shocking enlightenment that leads either to a weary cynicism or Buddhism. The second stage of actually applying the insight to oneself can destroy the illusion of the soul and create a magician. The realisation that belief is a tool rather than an end in itself has immense consequences if fully accepted. Within the limits set by physical possibility, and these limits are wider and more malleable than most people believe, one can make real any beliefs one chooses, including contradictionary beliefs. The Magician is not striving for any particular limited identity goal, rather he wants the meta-identity of being able to be anything. So welcome to the Kali Yuga of the Pandaemonaeon wherein nothing is true and everything is permissable. For in these post-absolutist days it is better to build upon the shifting sands than the rock which will confound you on the day it shatters. Philosophers have become no more than the keepers of useful sarcasms, for the secret is out that there is no secret of the universe. All is Chaos and evolution is going nowhere in particular. It is pure chance which rules the universe and thus, and only thus, is life good. We are born accidentally into a random world where only seeming causes lead to apparent effects, and very little is predetermined, thank Chaos. As everything is arbitrary and accidental then perhaps these words are too small and pejorative, rather we should perhaps say that life, the universe and everything is spontaneously creative and magical. Relishing stochastic reality we can revel exclusively in magical definitions of existence. The roads of excess may yet lead to the place of wisdom, and many indeterminate things can happen on the way to thermodynamic equilibrium. It is vain to seek solid ground on which to stand. Solidity is an illusion, as is the foot which stands on it, and the self which thinks it owns either is the most transparent illusion of all. The heavy vessels of faith are holed and sinking along with all lifeboats and ingenious rafts. So will you shop at the supermarket of sensation and let your consumer preferences define your true self? Or will you in a bold and lighthearted fashion, thieve from both for the fun of it? For belief is a tool for achieving whatever one chooses to consider important or pleasurable, and sensation has no other purpose than sensation. Thus help yourself to them without paying the price. Sacrifice Truth for Freedom at every opportunity. The greatest fun, freedom and achievement lies not being yourself. There is little merit in simply being whomsoever you were destined to be by accident of birth and circumstance. Hell is the condition of having no alternatives. Reject then the obscenities of contrived uniformity, order and purpose. Turn and face the tidal wave of Chaos from which philosophers have been fleeing in terror for millennia. Leap in and come out surfing its crest, sporting amidst the limitless weirdness and mystery in all things, for those who reject false certainties. Thank Chaos we shall never exhaust it. Create, destroy, enjoy, IO CHAOS! --- * Origin: ChaosBox: Nothing is true -> all is permitted... (2:243/2)

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Thanatophobia

Still a cheesy Darkseid knock-off.

"I bring Sutekh's Gift of Death - to all Humanity..!"

Evil? Your evil is my good. 

I am Sutekh, the Destroyer. 

Where I tread I leave nothing but dust and darkness. 

I find that good

- The Typhonian Beast

Teeth+Curls: 
Then I curse you, Sutekh, In the Name of All Nature. 
You are a twisted abhorrence. Argh! 


"The Revolution is successful.
 But survival depends on drastic measures. 

Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. 
Your lives mean slow death to the more valued members of the colony. 

Therefore, I have no alternative but to sentence you to Death. 

Your execution is so ordered, 

signed 
Kodos
Governor of Tarsus IV.
2246

"It was the only way."

- Says the man who just looked ahead into 4,000,406 Potential Futures

No one asks for their life to change, not really. 

But it does.

So what are we, helpless? Puppets? 

No. The big moments are 
gonna come. 
You can't help that. 

It's what you do afterwards that counts. 

That's when you find out who you are.

You'll see what I mean.


[Enterprise-A bridge]

Gen. CHANG
Have you not a shred of decency ...in you, Kirk? 
We come in peace - and you blatantly defile that peace. 

And for that - I shall blow you out of the stars.

Capt. KIRK: 
We haven't fired.

Capt. SPOCK: 
Captain - according to our data banks, we have
...Twice.

Lt. VALERIS: 
Captain, they're coming about!

Capt. SPOCK: 
They're preparing to fire.

Cmdr. CHEKOV: 
Shields up, Captain?

Lt. VALERIS: 
Captain, our shields!

Cmdr. CHEKOV: 
Shields up, Captain?

Captain James T. KIRK:
(It means "Church")
Signal our surrender.

UHURA: 
Captain?!

Captain KIRK: 
We surrender!

*****



Capt. "Rabbit" :

Okay... Time to be The Captain...

Buffy: 
Don't worry about me. 

Whistler: 
It's all on the line here, kid. 

Buffy: 
I can deal.
 (sadly) 
I got nothing left to lose. 
(leaves

Whistler: 
Wrong, kid. 

You got one more thing



“It was a Fool’s Leap, a Shot in The Dark. 
But anything of any value in our lives, whether that be a career, a work of art, a relationship, will always start with such a leap. 

And in order to be able to make it, you have to put aside the FEAR of FAILING and the DESIRE of SUCCEEDING

You have to do these things completely purely without fear, without desire
Because things that we do without lust or result, are the purest actions that we shall ever take.

Alan Moore
Wizard


Thanatophobia: The One Fear Everyone Has
March 1, 2017 /// ELSIE DIVINAGRACIA, MPH

Thanatophobia – the fear of death – is something every human has to face

What is Thanatophobia?
There is really only one certain thing about life, and that is that it ends. However, constantly keeping this thought in mind can stop you from actually living life! The extreme and often irrational thought or fear of death is known as thanatophobia. The word thanatophobia is derived from the Greek god of death, who was called Thanatos. It is also commonly referred to as “death anxiety.” For anyone who has seen the Final Destination film series, this concept is already familiar. In the first one, the main character shut himself up in a remote cabin, completely isolated, bundled up and fearing for his life.

Causes of phobias

Though that is an intense dramatization, for many people the fear of death does carry similar consequences. A sufferer of thanatophobia can refuse to leave his/her house, drive, fly, or any number of other daily activities that could be seen as (irrationally) dangerous or potentially life-threatening. Even though thanatophobia is not on its own a distinct clinical disorder, this phobia can occur simultaneously with other phobias or psychological or behavioral issues. If left untreated, the phobia may get much worse, so it is important to seek professional help.

Freud was the first to theorize about thanatophobia and said that death anxiety was the representation of unresolved conflicts from childhood, and humans are unable to accept their own mortality. Another theory that has been widely researched is the Terror Management Theory, which states that people have the essential will to live life fully, but are constantly aware that death is inevitable. People then try to manage this conflict by seeking meaning in their life, with personal goals and fulfillment. However, a person with a lower tolerance, lower self-esteem, and lessened management of this internal conflict will experience greater anxiety about death.

Author Stanley Hall established that children are born with no fear of death, just like animals, but with child development, the consciousness of dying becomes more and more viable.

Causes of Thanatophobia
Many people are afraid of dying, because of the unknown question that every human is faced with: what happens after you die, and what is dying actually like? We may never be able to know the answer until we actually die, and these thoughts can lead to severe anxiety symptoms at just the mere thought of death. But like all phobias, there are a number of contributors to the development of thanatophobia:

A traumatic experience – A near death experience can bring the fear of death to the forefront of your mind. This could be a severe accident, a serious illness, a violent attack, or even a natural disaster. The loss of a loved one could also trigger the symptoms of thanatophobia, or if someone close to them has a near death experience.

Constantly being surrounded by death – Similarly, emergency room nurses and doctors who are often surrounded by death and dying are constantly reminded of their own mortality and are at risk of developing death anxiety.

Religion – Religion tries to give a reason and explanation of death. Most religions believe that salvation in the afterlife only comes from following strict rules and any deviations will lead to condemnation. However, when someone is questioning their faith, their confusion can intensify the fear of being wrong about the afterlife.

Fear of the unknown – Similarly, a deep fear and confusion of not knowing what happens after death will contribute to thanatophobia. This fear of death mostly affects those who are highly intelligent or questioning their beliefs, philosophical or theological.

Fear of loss of control – Everyone wants to feel like they are in control of their own destiny. However, as of now, there is no possible way that you can completely prevent death. The thought of not being in control is enough for some people to onset the symptoms of thanatophobia.

Fear of ghosts – For those whose thanatophobia is rooted in religious beliefs, the fear of being stuck on earth as a ghost can be terrifying, and control your life and actions if you try to prevent that outcome by any means possible.

Other related fears – People that fear death often also extend that fear to anything that can remind them of death. This could include funeral homes, burials, tombstones, ghosts, skeletons or skulls, or any other symbol of death.

Just the sight of tombstones can trigger anxiety symptoms.
Just the sight of tombstones can trigger anxiety symptoms.
Symptoms of Thanatophobia
Symptoms of thanatophobia can be brought on by just the thought of death, and are comparable to symptoms of extreme anxiety. This can include physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, or stomach pain. There can also be mental symptoms, which can be constant thoughts of death or dying, uncontrollable reactions, repetition of gory or distressing thoughts about dying loss of control, or even delusions, and the inability to tell reality from fantasy. Emotional symptoms involve the sufferer constantly worrying about the prospect of death, a strong desire to flee the situation that reminded them of death, anger, guilt, and extreme avoidance of anything that reminds them of death or dying. All of these symptoms are similar to anxiety symptoms. 

Check Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder



Treating Thanatophobia
Since there are so many causes and possible complications of thanatophobia, it is important to consult a mental health professional. Depression, bipolar disorder, or ADHD can often be mistaken for, or be happening concurrently. Other conditions that could be related to thanatophobia include Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, psychotic episode, epilepsy, or strokes. Since thanatophobia is not on its own a clinical diagnosis, the sufferer will need to discuss with their mental health practitioner if their symptoms are interfering with their daily life. Your doctor will be able to discuss any possible related symptoms and disorders to prescribe the best possible course of treatment.



Like other phobias, the most widely used and effective treatment for Thanatophobia is cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is aimed at understanding the underlying thoughts that are the basis of the person’s fear of death and changing those thoughts to be more realistic and positive so that the person is able to function in their everyday life without the constant fear of death. Religious counseling could also be helpful if the fear is rooted in their religious beliefs. Relaxation techniques can be useful to employ during a phobic episode, which could look like a panic attack. Medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed, especially if the phobia is occurring with those emotional disorders. With thanatophobia, peer groups can be particularly helpful, where you can discuss feelings about death, and coping processes that have helped others.

The main point is not to lose hope and seek treatment if you think you are suffering from thanatophobia. The fear of death or dying can be a persistent struggle, and can constantly be in the back of your mind, but there is always help available from mental health professionals, and peers.

Brady, M. Death anxiety among emergency care workers. Emergency Nurse. 2015; 23, 4, 32-37.

Dadfar M, Lester D, Bahrami F. Death Anxiety, Reliability, Validity, and Factorial Structure of the Farsi Form of the Arabic Scale of Death Anxiety in Iranian Old-Aged Persons. Journal of Aging Research. 2016;2016:2906857. doi:10.1155/2016/2906857.

HealthyChildren.org: Understanding Childhood Fears and Anxiety. 2015.

Milosevic, I., McCabe, RE. Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear. 2015. ABC-CLIO.

Dark Masculinity



 I am Passion, The Libido. 

I am The Anarchy of Lust, 
The Romantic and The Lover. 

I am also The Warrior, 
The Perfect Line which never wavers. 

Dialog with my Shadow

Dark Man of my soul,

It is you I honor, you from whom all the energy of manhood originates and resides. 
I value the honesty of your feelings, rooted in the earth and in battle and in the hunt. 
Your anger is profound. 
Your need for action true. 
I applaud your sense of outrage and need for justice. 
Without them, where would we be? 
The dragons of our existence thrive without you to combat them. 
You embolden me to walk free, and live by my own code. 
You are my father and brother and truest friend.

This sword symbolizes who you are—what you mean to me and to the world. 
Strength. Action. Defense. 
The ability to cut away illusion. 
It represents the history of Men, blood spilt on the battlefield, which connects us all together.


Stay with me. 
Take your honored place in my soul and in my life.
Strengthen me with your power, and guide me with your earthy wisdom.


HERE IS A LIST OF THE TOP 25 ATTRIBUTES OF THE SHADOW MASCULINE:


  1. Fear of surrendering to the feminine
  2. Rigidity
  3. Controlling tendencies
  4. Hatred (of self, other, an organization, of God/dess)
  5. Entitlement issues (especially when insecurities arise)
  6. Narcissism
  7. Anger
  8. Jealousy
  9. Insecurity
  10. Competition (coming from separation)
  11. Greed
  12. Taking what he wants without consent
  13. Not listening to the feminine
  14. Judgment
  15. Harshness–in language, touch, energy, etc
  16. Mistrust and abuse of the feminine
  17. Suppressing emotions/not expressing vulnerability
  18. Neglecting the inner child/children
  19. Underlying codependence issues with women
  20. Denying the value of the feminine while taking advantage of her
  21. Suppressed sexuality and sensuality/sexual shame
  22. Inability to receive pleasure or abundance
  23. Fear of abandonment, but not willing to admit it (even to self)
  24. Tantrums/outbursts of rage
  25. Acting out from the inner child while doing everything he can to look like a powerful leader




The Shadow-side of Male Virtue


Knightly confrontation.


There is a wild side to man's nature. Unpredictable. Savage. Easily frustrated and angered. We are taught from an early age to repress this part of us as something uncivilized and undesirable. Those of us who respect the law discipline ourselves to reject it. We go on with life ignoring what tendencies remain, channeling the overflow of aggression into "appropriate" conduits, such as ruthless competition in sports or business. 
     But in truth, the dark side of masculinity is never really gone or completely subdued. It follows us like a "shadow" (which C.G. Jung labeled it), dark and indescribable. Like a real shadow, it projects and distorts who we are.
     This is our personal darkness, filled with savagery we try not to recognize.
     It haunts us when we least suspect it—an angry phantom from our primitive core, maligned by moral propaganda, marginalized by repression.
     This frustrated shadow can subvert our best intentions—not because it is evil, but because we continually thwart its existence. We deny its proper role in our lives, and view it as uncivilized, something "bad." In effect, we provoke its rebellious discontent by shaping it into a monster when it might have been shaped into something different.
     This shadow is part of who we are as men. Without it, the chivalry we embrace becomes salt that has lost its flavor, an empty shell of moral dictates devoid of essence.
     Our shadow provides male virtue with the tension of having one foot in heaven and the other not in hell but here on earth. Its wildness defines our core. Without it, our personal self-discipline is meaningless, our strength inauthentic, our connection to the earth, which is our Mother, broken. We become the disappointment of heaven's grand design, severed from our roots, sapped of our virility.
     The shadow is an essential element to our every thought and deed as men. As such, it either substantiates or perverts our best intentions, depending on how we relate to it. It is that unrefined edge that distinguishes us from women, no matter how refined we shape ourselves. It connects us to nature. Without it, we are limpid, emasculated, not really alive. To the other extreme, when we fail to give it its proper role, we become discontent, brazen, uncontrollable, perverting the virtues we are meant to honor.
     When we deny our shadow, we urge it to wreck havoc with our lives. We wrestle with it, try to subdue it, only to learn that the struggle never ends. In this respect, the shadow always wins, but only as a dark influence rather than something that completes us. We cannot suppress it without losing the very heart of who we are.
     Chivalry, despite its refining virtues, directs us to embrace the wild center of who we are, recognize its intrinsic value, honor it not as an aberration, but as a natural source of male energy which borders (as all things of nature do) on amorality. It is here where the ideal warrior is fashioned in our hearts.
     Chivalry cannot eliminate or tame this wild excess of spontaneity, and does not try. Instead, it channels it throughout every fiber of our being, melds it to everything we do—and in the processing of doing so makes us whole.
     The wildness is self-destructive only when we reject it or hold it at arm's length. By infusing it into our lives, it nourishes the soul like nothing else can. Our shadow is not a thing of evil and perversion— although untended, it can produce both. We need this shadow to be complete, and it needs us as well. 
     It is imperative for us to find our shadows and integrate them into our lives. We might not be pleased what we find but remember, this is result of pure neglect. 
     Embrace him. Rescue him. And he will rescue you.
     There are several ways to do this. The simplest is through ritual, whereby we recognize and honor the wild man as a valuable part of who we are. Jung tells us that ritual is enough to heal the rift—the turbulence of the unconscious mind really asks for nothing more. We can add this ritual to our embrace of chivalry.
     The following is a short ritual to illustrate what I mean. Although it involves a sword as a ritual object, which is meaningful to me, you can and should build your own ritual as it best applies to you.

Dialog with my Shadow

Dark Man of my soul,

It is you I honor, you from whom all the energy of manhood originates and resides. I value the honesty of your feelings, rooted in the earth and in battle and in the hunt. Your anger is profound. Your need for action true. I applaud your sense of outrage and need for justice. Without them, where would we be? The dragons of our existence thrive without you to combat them. You embolden me to walk free, and live by my own code. You are my father and brother and truest friend.

This sword symbolizes who you are—what you mean to me and to the world. Strength. Action. Defense. The ability to cut away illusion. It represents the history of men, blood spilt on the battlefield, which connects us all together.

Stay with me. Take your honored place in my soul and in my life. Strengthen me with your power, and guide me with your earthy wisdom.



The Dark King: Archetype of an Emerging Masculinity
December 5, 2014

Our current culture has more opportunities for increased consciousness, personal growth, and collective healing than ever before imaginable.  This makes the 21st century a potent time for actualizing a shared vision of healing for both men and women so that violence and traumas from the past need not be repeated but repaired on both local and global levels.  In order for men to rise and meet their female counterparts as equals, however, I believe that many men must first make a necessary personal and collective  "descent" - away from "acting out" of places of shadow power and dominance, or "acting in" through impotence and castration - and into the origins of these deep and aching wounds.  This is the path that Robert Bly refers to as "the road of grief and ashes," and that I feel leads to a shared re-imagining of what it means to be in power with others, rather than under or over.

An archetype has emerged for me that speaks to such an integration and deepening of the shared capacities of the masculine soul.  I envision him as a "Dark King," an image with archetypal roots planted deep in the mythic soil of East and West, and that represents to me the possiblity of an emerging masculine consciousness that acknowledges and respects the differences of others while remaining deeply sourced in his own integrated life force.  This "dark masculine," or "Lunar King" is a re-imaging of the "Solar King" that we have known for centures:  a king of light who supposedly casts no shadow, a savior, a religious leader or political figure-as-god, who wounds others unknowingly because he does not touch his own darkness, believing that he casts no shadow, and unconscious of his own life's wounds.  This is a figure that we have all known too well, both culturally and historically, as well as in our own families, communities, and religious or spiritual organizations.

A "Dark King" represents a man who is master of his energetic and emotional domain. He knows his shadow because he has been re-born from within its dark, fertile womb. He respects women and honors the sacredness of the feminine because he has touched his own feminine essence and knows it as good.  He is neither a "soft" nor a "hard" man, but a man who works toward integration:  light and shadow, solar and lunar, masculine and feminine.  He is a man deeply sourced in himself who can be of service and good to his family, his friends, and the world around him.  

Archetypally, the resurrection and birth of a "dark masculine" King is foreshadowed in multiple mythologies.  Osiris, a central Egyptian male deity, is killed and dismembered by his evil counterpart and brother, Seth, the god of the desert, only for his parts to be retrieved and "re-membered" by Osiris' goddess-lover, Isis.  Their reunion results in the birth of a divine son, Horus, the bird-headed god, representing the Spirit of a new masculinity born from the union of a consciously re-membered masculinity and the healing capacities of dark feminine awareness. 

Similarly, in the imagery of the Black Madonna of Eastern and Western European consciousness, a black son, the Christ-child, is presented on the lap of his Dark Mother.  Here the union that births the divine child occurs between the Black Virgin, representing matter, embodiment, and the chthonic earth elements, and the masculine Spirit, who impregnates the fertile vessel of the dark feminine goddess, giving birth to a new masculine awareness represented by the black, or dark son. 

In both instances, a son, manifesting as a young king, emerges from the union or re-membering of masculine and feminine, and represents new possiblities of what it means to be a man in relation to his "darker" aspects - embodiment, sexuality, and emotionality - rather than opposed to or repressing these fundamental aspects of life.  This is a fertile masculinity born from the union of a man's conscious relationship to the dark aspects of the feminine as both Goddess and Mother, and his own archetypal relationship with Spirit.  It is this constant interplay between matter and spirit, human and divine, masculine and feminine, that births a new and conscious masculinity in the souls of both women and men.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Speaking



All the ideas which had been bubbling in his mind since the lonesome days of hunger in Vienna now found an outlet, and an inner energy which had not been observable in his make-up burst forth. He prodded his timid committee into or- ganizing bigger meetings. He personally typed out and distributed invitations. 

Later he recalled how once, after he had distributed eighty of these, ”we sat waiting for the masses who were expected to appear. An hour late, the ’chairman’ had to open the ’meeting.’ We were again seven, the old seven." 

But he was not to be discouraged. He increased the number of invitations by having them mimeographed. He collected a few marks to insert a notice of a meeting in a local newspaper. 

The success,” he says, ”was positively amazing. One hundred and eleven people were present.” 

Hitler was to make his first ”public” speech, following the main address by a ”Munich professor.” Harrer, nominal head of the party, objected. 

This gentleman, who was certainly otherwise honest,” Hitler relates, ”just happened to be convinced that I might be capable of doing certain things, but not of speaking. I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: 

"I could SPEAK!”



Sunday, 22 April 2018

DoublePlusUnGood - An Incomplete Listing of Not-Good Things by Jordan B. Peterson





" Order can become excessive, and that’s not good, but chaos can swamp us, so we drown—and that is also not good. "

= 57 = 57 = 57=

" It is seriously not good to have your kidneys fail. Dialysis is no picnic. 

Transplantation surgery occurs after long waiting, at high risk and great expense. 

To lose all that because you don’t take your medication? How could people do that to themselves? How could this possibly be? 

It’s complicated, to be fair. Many people who receive a transplanted organ are isolated, or beset by multiple physical health problems (to say nothing of problems associated with unemployment or family crisis). 

They may be cognitively impaired or depressed. They may not entirely trust their doctor, or understand the necessity of the medication. Maybe they can barely afford the drugs, and ration them, desperately and unproductively. 

But—and this is the amazing thing—imagine that it isn’t you who feels sick. It’s your dog. 

So, you take him to the vet. The vet gives you a prescription. What happens then? You have just as many reasons to distrust a vet as a doctor. 

Furthermore, if you cared so little for your pet that you weren’t concerned with what improper, substandard or error-ridden prescription he might be given, you wouldn’t have taken him to the vet in the first place. 

Thus, you care. Your actions prove it. 

In fact, on average, you care more. People are better at filling and properly administering prescription medication to their pets than to themselves. That’s not good. Even from your pet’s perspective, it’s not good. 

Your pet (probably) loves you, and would be happier if you took your medication. "

= 57 = 57 = 57=

" If we weren’t circling around town and countryside we were at a party. Some relatively young adult (or some relatively creepy older adult) would open his house to friends. It would then become temporary home to all manner of party crashers, many of whom started out seriously undesirable or quickly become that way when drinking. A party might also happen accidentally, when some teenager’s unwitting parents had left town. 

In that case, the occupants of the cars or trucks always cruising around would notice house lights on, but household car absent. This was not good. Things could get seriously out of hand.

Chris had a psychotic break in his thirties, after flirting with insanity for many years. Not long afterward, he committed suicide. 

Did his heavy marijuana use play a magnifying role, or was it understandable self-medication? Use of physician-prescribed drugs for pain has, after all, decreased in marijuana-legal states such as Colorado. Maybe the pot made things better for Chris, not worse. 

Maybe it eased his suffering, instead of exacerbating his instability. Was it the nihilistic philosophy he nurtured that paved the way to his eventual breakdown? Was that nihilism, in turn, a consequence of genuine ill health, or just an intellectual rationalization of his unwillingness to dive responsibly into life? 

Why did he—like his cousin, like my other friends—continually choose people who, and places that, were not good for him? "


= 57 = 57 = 57=



" We might start by considering the all-too-black-and-white words themselves: “success” or “failure.” 

You are either a success, a comprehensive, singular, overall good thing, or its opposite, a failure, a comprehensive, singular, irredeemably bad thing. 

The words imply no alternative and no middle ground. However, in a World as complex as urs, such generalizations (really, such failure to differentiate) are a sign of naive, unsophisticated or even malevolent analysis. 

There are vital degrees and gradations of value obliterated by this binary system, and the consequences are not good. "


= 57 = 57 = 57 =

" The neglect and mistreatment that is part and parcel of poorly structured or even entirely absent disciplinary approaches can be deliberate—motivated by explicit, conscious (if misguided) parental motives. 

But more often than not, modern parents are simply paralyzed by the fear that they will no longer be liked or even loved by their children if they chastise them for any reason. 

They want their children’s friendship above all, and are willing to sacrifice respect to get it. This is not good


A child will have many friends, but only two parents—if that—and parents are more, not less, than friends. 

Negative emotions, like their positive counterparts, help us learn. We need to learn, because we’re stupid and easily damaged. 

We can die. That’s not good, and we don’t feel good about it. 

If we did, we would seek death, and then we would die. "

= 57 = 57 = 57=

" Every child should also be taught to comply gracefully with the expectations of civil society. This does not mean crushed into mindless ideological conformity. It means instead that parents must reward those attitudes and actions that will bring their child success in the world outside the family, and use threat and punishment when necessary to eliminate behaviours that will lead to misery and failure. There’s a tight window of opportunity for this, as well, so getting it right quickly matters. If a child has not been taught to behave properly by the age of four, it will forever be difficult for him or her to make friends. The research literature is quite clear on this. This matters, because peers are the primary source of socialization after the age of four. Rejected children cease to develop, because they are alienated from their peers. They fall further and further behind, as the other children continue to progress. 

Thus, the friendless child too often becomes the lonely, antisocial or depressed teenager and adult. This is not good

Much more of our sanity than we commonly realize is a consequence of our fortunate immersion in a social community. We must be continually reminded to think and act properly. When we drift, people that care for and love us nudge us in small ways. "

= 57 = 57 = 57=




" Each human being has an immense capacity for evil. Each human being understands, a priori, perhaps not what is good, but certainly what is not. And if there is something that is not good, then there is something that is good. If the worst sin is the torment of others, merely for the sake of the suffering produced—then the good is whatever is diametrically opposed to that. The Good is whatever stops such things from happening. "


= 57 = 57 = 57=


" If existence is good, then the clearest and cleanest and most correct relationship with it is also good. If existence is not good, by contrast, you’re lost. Nothing will save you—certainly not the petty rebellions, murky thinking and obscurantist blindness that constitute deceit. 

Is existence good? You have to take a terrible risk to find out. Live in Truth, or live in deceit, face the consequences, and draw your conclusions. "

= 57 = 57 = 57=


" In my clinical practice, I talk and I listen. I talk more to some people, and listen more to others. Many of the people I listen to have no one else to talk to. Some of them are truly alone in the world. There are far more people like that than you think. You don’t meet them, because they are alone. Others are surrounded by tyrants or narcissists or drunks or traumatized people or professional victims. Some are not good at articulating themselves. They go off on tangents. They repeat themselves. They say vague and contradictory things. They’re hard to listen to. Others have terrible things happening around them. They have parents with Alzheimer’s or sick children. There’s not much time left over for their personal concerns. "


= 57 = 57 = 57 =


" At this rate, there will be very few men in most university disciplines in fifteen years. This is not good news for men. It might even be catastrophic news for men. 

But it’s also not good news for women. "


= 57 = 57 = 57 =



" They’re normal. But you could think about taking her to see a physiotherapist.” So, we did. The physiotherapist tried to rotate Mikhaila’s heel. It didn’t move. That was not good. The physio told us, “Your daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.” This was not what we wanted to hear. We did not like that physiotherapist. We went back to the medical clinic. Another physician there told us to take Mikhaila to the Hospital for Sick Children. The doctor said, “Take her to the emergency room. That way, you will be able to see a rheumatologist quickly.” Mikhaila had arthritis, all right. The physio, bearer of unwelcome news, was correct. Thirty-seven affected joints. Severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Cause? Unknown. Prognosis? Multiple early joint replacements. "


= 57 = 57 = 57 =


" We talked to a new doctor. He listened carefully. Then he helped Mikhaila. First, he prescribed T3s, the same medication her grandfather had briefly shared. This was brave. Physicians face a lot of pressure to avoid the prescription of opiates—not least to children. But opiates work. Soon, however, the Tylenol was insufficient. She started taking oxycontin, an opioid known pejoratively as hillbilly heroin. This controlled her pain, but produced other problems. Tammy took Mikhaila out for lunch a week after the prescription started. She could have been drunk. Her speech was slurred. Her head nodded. This was not good. "


= 57 = 57 = 57 =


" The next set of questions—and answers—had to do with the development of character. 

Q: What shall I say to a faithless brother? 

A: The King of the Damned is a poor judge of Being. 

It is my firm belief that the best way to fix the world—a handyman’s dream, if ever there was one—is to fix yourself, as we discussed in Rule 6. 

Anything else is presumptuous. Anything else risks harm, stemming from your ignorance and lack of skill. 

But that’s OK. There’s plenty to do, right where you are. 

After all, your specific personal faults detrimentally affect the world. Your conscious, voluntary sins (because no other word really works) makes things worse than they have to be. 

Your inaction, inertia and cynicism removes from The World that part of you that could learn to quell suffering and make peace

That’s not good

There are endless reasons to despair of the world, and to become angry and resentful and to seek revenge. "